Core retail sales in November rose just .1% m/o/m, two tenths below expectations and down from .3% growth in October. Versus November last year core sales were up only 3.2% vs 4.6% growth last November and down from 4% growth in October, 4.4% in September and 5.1% in August. Sales at restaurant/bars fell for a 2nd month, declined at department stores, again, and were lower at sporting goods stores and clothing retailers. Furniture sales rose a tenth while those at electronics stores were higher by .7% but after dropping by .8% in October and are down 1.7% y/o/y. Online still remains good, with sales up .8% and 7.2% y/o/y. Building materials sales were unchanged after two months of declines and are lower by 1.2% y/o/y maybe corroborating what Home Depot has said. Auto sales grew by .5% in a very promotional month.
Bottom line, while the late Thanksgiving influenced the seasonal adjustments as holiday shopping started later in the month, core sales were still below expectations. This said, when it comes to sales during the holiday time, I prefer to combine the November and December time frames which then gets rid of all the adjustment issues. Thus, we better see a nice pick up in December after this soft November print.
Y/O/Y growth in core RETAIL SALES